Sunday, 6 November 2011

News Brief: Wholemeal bread not always high fiber

Wholemeal bread does not necessarily equate with high fibre, the Consumers’ Foundation (消基會) announced yesterday, and often contained more fat, according to a front-page report in the Liberty Times (Chinese language article here)
With its claims to high fibre and low calories, wholemeal bread has become popular with Taiwan’s consumers, the foundation said. But a survey of bread retailers, grain stores and convenience stores in the greater Taipei area since July this year showed that this ingrained impression is not necessarily true, and sometimes oil added to increase bread’s flavour and fragrance mean they can be high fat rather than high fibre.

Fat levels of 20 samples ranged from 0.2 percent to 9 percent. Of these, the French handmade bread (法蘭西手工全麥大圓) sold by Carrefour had the lowest fat content, while the “wholemeal toast” (全麥吐司) sold by Yjysheng (一之軒) had high fat content. Eating 200g (2 or 3 slices) of this latter contained the equivalent of three teaspoons of oil, which the foundation claimed represented around half of the daily fat allowance as recommended by Taiwan’s Department of Health (衛生署).

With dietary fibre content of 3 percent to 7 percent, wholemeal bread can help reduce cholesterol, promote intestinal peristalis and reduce excessive appetite. The Foundation discovered that Mr. Mark Bakery Co.’s (馬可先生) rye and mixed grain bread (黑麥雜糧麵包) and Taiwan Yamazaki’s (台灣山崎) wholemeal toast (全麥吐司) had dietary fibre content between 6 percent and 7 percent, whereas the above-mentioned French handmade bread from Carrefour had dietary fibre only slightly higher than regular white bread, at around 3 percent to 4 percent.

The foundation said that 200g of mixed grain bread could provide up to 8-14 g of dietary fibre, representing up to half of the DOH recommended daily value of 20-30 g, compared to just 6-7g by eating 200g of white bread.

                                                              Text and photos © Jiyue Publications 2011

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